This blog began its life in January 2017 as an opportunity to improve my writing whilst doing a bit of travelling, inspired by a short but wonderfully sweet trip to Jordan in September 2016 as part of my dissertation research. I was hoping to work in the tourism industry, and was due to fly to New Zealand in March of that year.
But I was feeling low that winter, and I wasn’t sure that travelling was really going to fix that. The world events of 2016 had shaken me. Jo Cox, Brexit, Trump, rising Islamophobia, growing anti-refugee sentiment and racism. All around me, friends would say “well, this won’t affect us, but it’ll be terrible for X, Y, Z.” I looked at my immediate family’s history of migration, and felt much less secure than many of my friends.
A series of events led me to Calais, where I ended up staying for 15 months, volunteering with Refugee Community Kitchen and Refugee Info Bus. This blog helped me process the surreal reality of the crisis situation at our border.
When I finally left, I returned to Glasgow and threw myself into bridging the gap between these two seemingly different places. A gap which gets smaller each day as the hostile environment worsens. I now work as Storytelling Officer at Scottish Refugee Council.
As well as a space to write about my work and what’s going on at our border, this blog has also become a space to explore my mental health and identity as I learn and unlearn. I have been working through a lot during lockdown and am keen to share some of this here.
Thanks for reading.